Review: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Posted September 30, 2015 by lockhartbecca in Reviews / 2 Comments

A Madness So Discreet

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Format: ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***


Synopsis from Goodreads:


Grace Mae knows madness.She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.


When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

My Review:


This book was dark and a tad creepy in true Mindy McGinnis fashion. I’ve only read one other book by her, but it was just as dark and brutal as this one. Mindy knows how to scare her readers. In a good way, I swear. This book is about a time when insane asylums were dark, twisted places. The last place you wanted to end up. And people were locked up in them for terrible reasons. Like our main character, Grace, who is locked up because she got pregnant out of wedlock. Her family wants her out of their hair until after she has the baby. So she’s forced into a dark desolate place where no human should ever have to reside. The experiences that she goes through here are horrible and they were really difficult to read about. But I appreciated Mindy’s raw honesty on the subject and I appreciated this look into a time in history that I know next to nothing about.


But there was another aspect of this book that I wasn’t really expecting, but it surprised me in a good way. The history behind the science of criminal psychology. I’m a big fan of criminal minds. I always found that show so fascinating with the way the criminal psychologists got into the minds of the killers in order to solve the case. It’s such an interesting way of examining a crime so I was really excited to see the start of this science. And how rejected it was at first, as are all new ideas are they not?


But what really stole the show was the main character, Grace. She is so strong and resilient. She was flawed as hell, but she was a fighter and I loved her tenacity and her courage. I loved the strength she showed in the face of adversity and even though her past is rife with darkness, she fights to pull herself free from it, to something better. I loved the friendships that blossomed once she was working alongside Dr. Thornhollow and I loved seeing Grace slowly heal. She was a main character that kept me glued to the pages and cheering for her the whole time.


Dr. Thornhollow was another character that I really enjoyed. He was extremely intelligent and at times came across as unfeeling, but he slowly starts to come out of his shell and I loved seeing the other sides to his personality. The softer sides.


The only reason I gave this book three and half stars is because I never felt that magic, that spark. There was also no real romance, which I don’t ALWAYS need in a book, but I did miss it. But it was an exciting, if not a heart-breaking book. It was a very interesting historical time and something I didn’t know a lot about prior to reading. Anyone who likes historical fiction or thrillers will probably really enjoy this book.


Have you read this book yet? What did you think? 

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2 responses to “Review: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

  1. OOoh nice! I still need to read Mindy's books, but this one is on the list too! Preordered as well! LOL! Already realizing that there will be no romance, which like you said, it's not necessary, but I do like having some in the book. I just don't like it shoved in my face! Still, this sounds like a worthy read! Great review!

    • I missed the romance, but at the same time, I was happy for the focus on the mental health. I think maybe the romance could have upped my feels and given the book that extra spark that would have driven my rating higher. I hope you enjoy it!!

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